Gold futures fall to session low after U.S. jobless claims, PPI data

Shutterstock photo - Gold futures came under pressure during U.S. morning hours on Thursday, falling to the lowest levels of the session after data showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell unexpectedly last week, remaining close to a five-year low.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at USD1,578.70 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, down 0.6% on the day.

Prices fell by as much as 0.7% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD1,575.80 a troy ounce, the weakest level since March 11. On Wednesday, Comex gold rose to a two-week high of USD1,598.00 a troy ounce.

Gold prices were likely to find support at USD1,560.60 a troy ounce, the low from March 8 and near-term resistance at USD1,602.20, the high from February 28.

Gold prices dropped to the session lows after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending March 10 fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000, compared to expectations for an increase of 8,000 to 350,000.

Separate reports showed that producer price inflation in the U.S. rose in line with expectations in February, while core prices inched up slightly.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in February, in line with expectations, after rising 0.2% in January.

The core producer price index eased up 0.2% in February, in line with expectations after rising 0.2% in January.

The upbeat data fuelled optimism that the recovery in the U.S. is gaining traction and added to worries the Federal Reserve could end its bond-buying program sooner-than-expected.

Moves in the gold price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the Fed could bring quantitative easing to an end this year.

The robust data also saw investors pile in to the U.S. dollar, weighing on dollar-denominated commodities, including gold.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.15% to trade at 83.31, the strongest level since August.

A stronger dollar saps demand for raw materials as an alternative investment and makes metals priced in the currency more expensive in terms of other monies.

Meanwhile, in Europe, European Union leaders were set to begin a two-day economic summit in Brussels later in the day.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for May delivery tumbled 1.15% to trade at USD28.63 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery added 0.25% to trade at USD3.534 a pound. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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